Security continues to be a major concern when it comes to technology and digital ecosystems, especially now that we are in the post-digital era. Many of the technologies that help create opportunities also bring exposure risk, which is why it is a key trend in our Technology Vision 2019 report.

Most insurers already operate within a digital ecosystem. Interconnectedness allows them to deliver best-in-class products, services, and experiences––but in order to maintain balance and trust, their security groups must manage inherent risks. Unfortunately, only 26 percent of insurance executives report that they know if their ecosystem partners are working diligently to be compliant and resilient in regard to security.

REFRAMING RISK

Collaboration is a fundamental component of insurance and helps insurers deliver the best products and services available––but it also helps with mitigating risk. One of the first steps insurers can do to lessen risk in a shared ecosystem is to strengthen their understanding of the threats they face. If insurance leaders cannot assess the impact of an attack on their own organization, how can they understand the risk it poses for their ecosystem partners—or the risks they are accepting through partnerships?

Ecosystem partners change constantly, bringing with them new business ambitions, priorities, operational maturity––and new risks––yet assessing security risks is a step that is frequently bypassed. In fact, only 38 percent of businesses report including the chief information security officer when considering new business opportunities. However, 88 percent of insurance executives agree that to be truly resilient, organizations must rethink their approach to security in a way that defends not just themselves, but their ecosystems.

SHARING RESPONSIBILITY

Putting the responsibility of security into the hands of a single team can result in fast moving risk events. To avoid this, enterprises should spread responsibility for security throughout their organization, giving security teams the agility to respond to a fast-changing environment. This is especially important with the integration of new technologies.

In tandem with their technology efforts, insurance companies must evolve their approach to governance as their ecosystem-driven business expands. By widening their perspective, leaders will gain a better understanding of their real attack surface, and be better prepared for the threats that will only grow in the post-digital world.

An example of this can be seen in the global insurance broker, Marsh, who announced a cyber-risk management approach called the Cyber Catalyst program. In it, Marsh is bringing together multiple insurers such as Allianz, AXIS, AXA XL, Beazley, CFC, Munich Re, Sompo International, and Zurich North America. In order to ensure the highest level of security, Microsoft will act as a technical adviser. Insurers will identify and consider solutions to help customers reduce cyber-risks such as data breach, business interruption, and corruption. It’s a large-scale collaboration that focuses on the individual.

All of this leads to another benefit that goes beyond risk avoidance: by differentiating themselves as trustworthy defenders, insurance companies become more attractive partners for other businesses, governments, and consumers alike.

In my next and final post in this series, I will take a look at how technology is helping prepare insurers for their next big opportunity: offering customers real-time protection and capturing moments with innovative solutions.

To read more about the Accenture Technology Vision for Insurance 2019, you can download it here. If you’d like to learn more about tech, trends and insurance, I encourage you to visit the Accenture blog, where I have several posts exploring everything from data veracity and how it’s reshaping insurance, to life insurance and the internet of thinking.

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